A day in Dubrovnik

A day is not enough time to explore all the corners & streets & churches & museums in this fortified medieval city. The onslaught of the big cruise ships & the land based tourists makes for tedious congestion in the streets & on the walls. Nevertheless Dubrovnik has a sense of history, both ancient & recent with pockets of charm, shade, music & elegance. Sadly most is designed to rip off the tourist. Ignore that & enjoy the twisting alleys & steps & the glittering Adriatic is always a backdrop.

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Someone has to clean the windows & polished the dome!!

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Before lunch we purchase a ticket from this lovely lady for a cruise around the harbour & nearby island skippered by this not so lovely gentleman.

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See, I do take piccies of younger people occasionally! On the rocks on the far side of the island the meerkats stand & play.

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After a very classy lunch of sea bream with black truffle sauce I take in the views of the city from the surrounding walls.

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Then we say a sad goodbye to Marko & Igor, our two Serbian drivers, and B our guide, as we settle down for our last night in Cavtat, just down the coast, before flying home in the morning.

Time in Trebinje

I have to share these images from last night. Mostar & the bridge at night.

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Then, coming out of the restaurant I am greeted by Horns of Plenty. Only a slightly younger version maybe but the same red & black and the same street music. A wonderful end to the evening.

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A drive through scrubby mountains & farmed glacial valleys brings us to Trebinje – no tourist tat, few sights yet charming as an ordinary Bosnian town.

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Anyone want to buy my honey?

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You never know who is looking over your shoulder when you’re on a big restoration project.

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Then off to your monastery of the day – the charming 15 centuruy Tvrdos Monastery which has the extra attraction of making its own high quality wine!

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Saturday sunshine brings out the best of Sarajevo

A day for the men to chill & hang out with the boys.

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And then there is the meeting of the grand masters of chess. Come rain or shine the competition attracts an audience & feelings can get the better of any participant.

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Every move is studied & analysised.

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And the knight is taken. I have no idea who is actually playing but there is a lot of shouting & the giving & rejecting of advice.

A few images of Sarajevo in the sunshine:

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These two lovely ladies are serving the traditional dish of sirinica – layers of puff pastry with cheese or spinach or minced meat in between; well actually many, many layers of pastry with crumbs of the flavoured ingredient in between. Served with glasses of yogurt by an unsmiling & over hassled grump on right. Hmmmmm. Yum!

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Across the border to Sarajevo in Bosnia Herzegovina

On the way we cross the Drina River by the bridge at Visegrad. Google it as has so much history since the Ottoman Turks built it in 16 century.

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Then on to Sarajevo, the cultural heart of Bosnia Herzegovina. A small, bustling city where Muslims, Catholics, Jews & Eastern Orthodox & their places of worship mix amongst winding alleys & covered markets. Mix in a few tourists and add some Turkish bazaars & a flavour of Moroccan souks and you get a bustling, glittering and in places elegant city.

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Poverty & the scars of war are never too far away.

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The cathedral and Gazi Hursev Hey Mosque are around the corner from each other.

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Some local ladies.

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And a flourishing cafe culture attracts all the with it, cool set.

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Men’s toys on the mountain railway

Having woken up in the gnomes’ houses in the pine forest, we have a gnome’s breakfast of nettle fritters, curds, hedgerow infusions & home cured ham.

We travel to Mokra Gora in the poring rain and there take the Sargan Eight up to, you guessed it, Sargan Vitasi. The reason it is called Sargan Eight is that it loops up the mountain through wonderful scenery and the track follows a figure of eight path to get to the top.

The journey starts from Mokra Gora.

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At the top the engine goes up, comes back, goes past, comes back and the back becomes the front – if you see what I mean.

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And off we go down again.

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This is the engine driver!!

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And this man is really important because he wears the hat & blows the whistle!!

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Accommodation that night is in another gnome’s house in a replica tradional village called Kustendurff built by film director Ernier Kusturica ( I’ve never heard of him). Very quirky – a bit like a wooden, Serbian Port Median.

Have a look

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This lady is a living person!

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A long wait at the border to take us into Serbia

The deep gorges & towering mixed deciduous forest of Montenegro give way to rolling alpine meadows & lakes of Serbia.

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Your monastery for the day is Mileseva.

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This guy is the best.

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We spend the night in the pine woods and rebuilt 19th century village houses of Sirogonjno. Some artefacts:

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We are driving north west through the Zladibor mountain region and then west to Sarajevo which you have all heard of.

Following the Moracha & Tara Gorges into the mountains

Anyone who likes a road trip with deep, precipitous gorges, huge, towering trees and winding narrow roads should do this drive. Just like the limestone country of the Cevenne & Ardeche in France.

First stop is the peace of Moracha monastery.

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A stop for fresh fruit – the family get their produce out for us tourists.

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A stop for lunch on the River Tara. This bridge at one point in time was the longest bridge in Europe – until they built a longer one somewhere else!!

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A fun thing to do is the zip wire across the gorge. This is how to do it.

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This is how not to do it – hang in the middle and require rescue

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From here we travel up to 1400 metres and the ski area and another national park. A walk around the glacial lake clears the head in the cool clear atmosphere.

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